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Published: 2012/03/01
by Bill McAlaine

Widespread Panic, The Fillmore, Denver, CO – 2/10-2/12

Photo by Fred Rice

After 7 years, Widespread Panic decided to return to the wonderful Fillmore Theater in Denver, CO. These shows would also be unique in the sense that this was the 3rd leg on their highly anticipated Wood Tour and their first shows back after their final electric shows in Mexico. These would also be the last Denver shows before the hiatus.

These shows also would be different in the sense that these shows would be fully acoustic. An idea that had partly come to fruition back in 1996 when they did their famous’ sit n ski’ shows. Though those shows meant to be fully acoustic they did end up taking on an electric element, most notably when Michael Houser decided to switch back to an electric guitar after the first night. These shows would be entirely acoustic which really intrigued me on many levels. We were going to see our band in a completely unique arrangement that would show us a way different side of their abilities and overall playing styles. We would also be seeing new elements of each player that we have never
seen before essentially.

Walking into the venue the excitement was definitely high. The Fillmore is a beautiful venue with some really magnificent sound if you are in the right spots. As the band took the stage, the crowd roared and then politely quieted down. John Bell started it off with “From the Cradle”: “Keep your head down, keep your voice down…listen for the sound.” I believe this was the bands way of saying “be quiet” while we are playing and for what I could tell we obliged. There’s nothing worse than hearing crowd chatter or singing, for that matter, over the band. With everyone on the same page, the band continued with some great renditions of “Can’t Get High,” “Worry” and Todd Nance’s “Clinic Cynic.” I always love to hear Todd sing. The instrumental St Louis drifted into a rollicking version of “Wonderin’.” Another personal favorite, “Gradle,” popped up next, which is a song that we have heard solo acoustic many times at Hannah’s Buddies. Beautiful as ever! A big highlight of the first set was the bluegrass version of “Imitation Leather Shoes,” which really exemplified the uniqueness and fun of this acoustic incarnation.

The second set was a pretty standard set opening up with “Holden Oversoul,” and then “Who Do You Belong To?” into the bluesy “Stop Breakin’ Down Blues.” The highlight of the set for me was the “Good Morning Lil’ Schoolgirl.” This was the first time in God knows how many shows I’ve seen ever hearing it. They closed out the set strong with great versions of “Space Wrangler” and “Climb to Safety.” The band came out for the first set of encores of the weekend. The always extra special “Don’t Be Denied” came first. There is nothing for me to say about this song that any fan doesn’t know or understand (Thank You Mikey!) “Up all Night” brought us back to the dancing mood and Jojo Hermann’s “Chunk of Coal” sent us out a very happy and enthralled crowd.

02/10/12 The Fillmore, Denver, CO
1: From The Cradle, Can’t Get High, Worry, Clinic Cynic, St. Louis > Wondering, Gradle, This Part Of Town, Don’t Wanna Lose You, Imitation Leather Shoes
2: Holden Oversoul, Who Do You Belong To?, Travelin’ Man > Party At Your Mama’s House > Stop Breakin’ Down Blues, Christmas Katie > Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Pickin’ Up The Pieces, Nobody’s Loss, Space Wrangler, Climb To Safety
E: Don’t Be Denied, Up All Night, Chunk Of Coal

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